Wizards owner Ted Leonsis used his personal blog to address a report this week by Michael Lee of The Washington Post that the Wizards turned down a trade for James Harden. Leonsis denies that finances were a factor in the team's decision, and points out the trade wouldn't have put the team over the luxury tax. However, Lee didn't write that the trade would make Washington a taxpayer, surmising instead that the team would eventually have to pay the tax if it wanted to keep Harden, John Wall and the rest of its post-trade core together. Here's who else is making news on an 11-game night in the NBA.
- Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times thinks Devin Ebanks might not be with the Lakers much longer, though he points out that he's one of a handful of players who can veto trades this season (Sulia link).
- More than half of the players on the Nets roster become eligible to be traded tomorrow, but Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets that the team isn't planning any moves.
- Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen isn't high on the Celtics, but he doesn't foresee the team making changes in an effort to win a title this season, he tells CSNNE's Sports Tonight (link via CSNNE.com).
- This year's class of college sophomore draft prospects is especially deep, writes Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider only). Centers Cody Zeller and Alex Len, two potential No. 1 overall picks, sit atop Ford's ranking of the top 10 sophomores.
- Eddie Johnson of HoopsHype points to the shortcomings of Eric Maynor this season and speculates that the Thunder may look to add another point guard to back up Russell Westbrook.
- Pacers rookie guard Orlando Johnson would have been sent down this weekend for his second D-League assignment if not for Lance Stephenson's right ankle injury, notes Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
- After passing along a pair of reports that linked Carlos Arroyo to teams in Italy and Turkey, Sportando's Emiliano Carchia believes the nine-year NBA vet is down to a single option overseas. Arroyo last played in the Association in 2010/11, splitting the season between the Heat and Celtics.
Let's round up a few of today's odds and ends from around the Association....
- The Timberwolves ultimately signed Louis Amundson to a minimum-salary deal to bolster their frontcourt, but were also seriously considering Sean Williams and were close to signing Yi Jianlian, tweets Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500. Yi ended up signing in China, where he presumably received a larger guarantee.
- Two and a half months after urging management to make roster upgrades, Kevin Love says he's happy about the changes and is optimistic about the Timberwolves' playoff chances, according to an AP report (via NBA.com).
- According to a Primera Hora report (Spanish link), longtime NBA point guard Carlos Arroyo is still debating whether to join an NBA team's training camp or play in Turkey.
- The Rockets announced a series of coaching and basketball operations hirings and promotions today, including a pair of assistant coaches.
- There has been so much turnover in New Orleans in recent years that Jason Smith, who joined the team almost exactly two years ago, is now the longest-tenured Hornet. Smith spoke to Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com about the club's offseason acquisitions and his expectations for the coming year.